Last week the website Football Scoop—known for breaking stories on coaching changes and industry info in the football world—posted an article listing the 10 ways you know you’ve found the ideal “coach’s wife”. Of course the list was an interesting read as someone who has spent the last decade working in the college football ranks in one way or another, from the ground up as an undergraduate student filming practices and games into the full-time role I hold now as head of the football video department here at my alma mater. But, just as my role has evolved and changed over the years, so has my personal life. When I started working in the football world full-time I was single and dedicated to the job.
The long hours and little time off during the season rarely afforded me any chances to wade into the dating pool, and that was fine with me at the time. As the last few years wore on I made my way out more and more often as time allowed, and as most folks know by now, I’m currently engaged and prepping to get married in 2018.
|Sometimes we work side by side (Thanks Megan Coffey for the photo)|
Laura doesn’t always like my job, and who can blame her? She doesn’t get to see me that often during the season, and knows the hours I put in mean less time we have together. Luckily though, she tags along to various events and even comes to games and shoots photos for our recruiting department to use (Check out our team Facebook page too. Sometimes we feature her work there. It helps to know people).
While the list above features the word “coach” quite a bit, every one of the video professionals I know was able to relate to the list. Whether you work as a coach or as someone behind the scenes, the hours you put in are the virtually same at schools across the country. Whether you win one game or all of them, the hours we have to dedicate to practices and games during the season rarely get any shorter. And days off? Those also don’t really exist.
|Me on the field last year on the night of my brother's wedding|
I haven’t seen many members of my family in months and most of them understand the time commitments of my job. Want proof? Last year, as the UC Bearcats kicked off against Tulsa on a November night I was on a limo with my brother, moments after he just got married. While I was able to both attend his wedding and able to stop by my office to ensure my job was handled properly, I knew that guilty feeling stated in the Football Scoop list that I was going to fail to be in two necessary places at one time.
The balance of work and life can be tough to manage. It was a prominent discussion topic in one of my graduate school classes, and more recently a post on a website called Front Office Sports.
Understanding that football isn’t everything in life is tough to learn when you’ve never had someone else on the other end of your life like I do now. I used to be able to kick back and spend a few extra minutes in the office working on a video or conversing with co-workers about the job we have. Now I take some extra precautions to make it home a few moments earlier than I used to when I was single, and even set aside certain nights to go out to dinner with Laura and keep my phone in my pocket. I focus on us and not work, and it’s been work to try to keep that in line.
|Myself and Carl on team photo day last year|
This job isn’t easy, and you don’t need me to tell you that. Carl, my esteemed assistant, also wrote a piece for Front Office Sports that explained his rise in this college football world from a student assistant in the recruiting department to where he is now.
What no one ever taught us, we’ve been able to learn as we have progressed forward in our careers. When a colleague last week stopped in our office and asked us what we would be doing with some extra hours off on our bye week we both exclaimed that we were probably doing some wedding planning (Carl gets married next summer, so he’s a little closer to his date) and hanging with our soon-to-be spouses.
While it may not be easy to understand our lives or understand the 80-plus hour, in-season work weeks we subject ourselves to, we all have women behind us who help us through the good times and the bad, and women who love football and what it brings us.
While I may not have a “coach’s wife” by strict definition, I have a woman behind me who loves the fact that I love what I do, and still have the time to spend with her outside of the workplace. This job isn’t easy but having friends and family around to support you is key. So is having the right woman, if you’ve been lucky enough to find her, and there’s no doubt I’ve been lucky enough to find the right one.
Sure I haven’t found much time in the past few months to sit behind the computer and write down blogs but I hope my posts can become a little more meaningful as I grow a little older. I’ll still try to write as much about NASCAR as I can, and share some insights into college football when I can as well. It’s what I know and what I love. But now that I have a good friend to spend time with outside of work, occasionally I’ll put the laptop away and spend time with her instead of pounding out a quick NASCAR story.
While I won’t be retiring from the blog any time soon, I hope this post stands as a reminder to the important things in life—friends and family—and how to cherish the moments we have with them. Sure I haven’t written as much as I would have liked to recently, but hopefully you loyal readers understand. Thanks for stopping by as always.